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Google adds 'Studio Mode' to Hangouts On Air for dramatically improved music quality

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Google is announcing an audio-enhanced "studio mode" for Google+ Hangouts On Air to improve the quality of virtual music performances.

YouTube party Google+ Hangout
YouTube party Google+ Hangout

A few months ago, Google made Hangouts On Air available to all Google+ users — this allowed anyone to host a Hangout and publicly broadcast it live over both Google+ and YouTube. Google says that the technology has been particularly embraced by musicians, who can use it to host live virtual concerts with worldwide audiences, and now the company is announcing an audio-enhanced "studio mode" to improve the quality of these performances. When starting a hangout, all you need to do is switch from voice to studio mode and Google automatically optimizes your audio output for music rather than conversation, and the results are quite impressive if the video below is to be believed. Instruments are much clearer, the mix is better balanced, and there are less audio artifacts in sounds like cymbals — it's just a much higher quality presentation. As with most Google updates, the new studio mode is rolling out gradually to all users.